They’re not the biggest cetaceans in the sea, but there are still plenty of reasons to love beluga whales. The aquatic mammals are known for their playful nature, pale coloring, and impressive vocal abilities. Now, fans of these whales can livestream their annual migration from the Arctic Ocean to the Hudson Bay in northeastern Canada.
As Smithsonian reports, Polar Bears International’s beluga cams went live on Explore.org earlier in July. The organization’s research boat Delphi is outfitted with two live cameras: one on deck filming the water’s surface and a lower camera recording the action underwater. Belugas use dozens of distinct calls for communication and echolocation, and a hydrophone on the vessel will pick up their vocalizations.
The Hudson Bay has plenty of the food belugas love to eat without too many of their larger predators, like orcas, lingering around. It’s inaccessible in the winter, but when the waters thaw in the summer months, approximately 57,000 whales swim to the Churchill River in Manitoba, which flows into the bay. You can tune in to the live videos below as the whales continue their migration through the remainder of the season.
The Arctic conservation nonprofit Polar Bears International has aired its Beluga livestreams every summer since 2014 in an effort to raise awareness of melting polar ice due to climate change. Though belugas are considered a species of “least concern” according to the IUCN Red List, the survival of other Arctic animals that rely on sea ice is uncertain. In addition to providing entertainment for nature lovers, the footage captured aboard Delphi will be used to monitor the health of the migrating population.
A version of this story ran in 2022; it has been updated for 2023.